Bolton to host Olympic Torch relay 

18/05/11
Wenlock and Mandeville
The official Olympic and Paralympic mascots, Wenlock and Mandeville

The Olympic Flame will be coming to Bolton as part of its journey around the UK.

And it has also been revealed that Bolton is one of only two places in Greater Manchester that has been chosen to host an evening celebration event.

Bolton is one of 66 evening celebration locations across the UK and the flame will arrive in the town on Thursday, May 31, 2012.

The announcement was made today by the London 2012 Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG). 

The evening events will offer thousands of people the opportunity to come together in Bolton and get involved in celebrations and share in the Olympic spirit. 

As part of the events LOCOG and the presenting partners, Coca-Cola, Lloyds TSB and Samsung, will stage entertainment shows where a cauldron will be lit from the Olympic Flame, marking the end of the day’s proceedings.

Leader of Bolton Council, Councillor Cliff Morris, said: “We’re absolutely delighted that the Olympic Torch will come to Bolton and it’s a real honour that we’ve been chosen to host an evening celebration. It’s great news for Bolton.

“Bolton is obviously already very connected to the Olympic 2012 story as the inspiration for the official Olympic and Paralympic mascots, Wenlock and Mandeville, came from Bolton steel firm Watson Steel Structures, which has supplied thousands of tons of steel for the Olympic stadium.

“An event like this is a great opportunity for us to showcase Bolton to a worldwide audience and demonstrate our ability to host major events.

“It’s also the opportunity for people to connect with a global event on their doorstep and shows that the Olympics 2012 are not just about London.

“We’re currently working on a route the torch will take through the town and planning the evening celebration. The show will feature local communities and showcase our culture and heritage.”

The Olympic Flame will arrive in the UK from Greece on Friday, May 18, 2012 and the 70 day Torch Relay will start at Land’s End, Cornwall on the morning of May 19, 2012. 

On leaving Land’s End, the Olympic Flame is expected to travel an estimated 8,000 miles across the UK, giving thousands of communities and individuals their moment to shine as the Olympic Flame comes to their doorstep.

The Olympic Flame will arrive at the Olympic Stadium on July 27, 2012 for the lighting of the cauldron at the Opening Ceremony, signifying the start of the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Chair of LOCOG, Sebastian Coe, said: ‘We are thrilled that Bolton has agreed to host the Olympic Flame on its journey right across the UK. The Olympic Flame will shine a light right across Bolton celebrating the culture and heritage of the area and showcasing the very best of the borough.

“We have no doubt that the welcome Bolton will provide will demonstrate how the spirit of the Olympic Games is reaching out across the UK and excitement builds as the start of the 2012 Games draws closer.”

The London 2012 Olympic Torchbearer nomination programme launches today at 11am. Together with Coca-Cola, Lloyds TSB and Samsung, LOCOG is seeking 8,000 of the most inspirational people to have their moment to shine next summer by carrying the Olympic Flame. Full details of the LOCOG Torchbearer programme and how to nominate potential Torchbearers will be released from 11am today.

Chair of the North West Steering Group for the 2012 Games, Andy Worthington, said: "The evening celebration will be an opportunity to experience some of the excitement of London 2012 right on our doorsteps, and to celebrate what is great about Bolton.

"The eyes of the world will be focused on the North West for eight days next year and on those people nominated to represent us as torchbearers. I would like to encourage everyone to nominate those special people who deserve this honour which really is once-in-a-lifetime."

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Salma Nakhuda
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